Loss of FREE Parking

Loss of the free 30 minutes parking.


From the 3rd of June 2019, the free 30-minute parking allowance has been removed from Hornchurch and Upminster.


Currently, Elm Park has been allowed to keep this little but very important parking allowance.


Many people ‘pop’ into the shops to pick up a few items, a prescription, do a bit of banking, drop something off at the dry cleaners etc.


For anyone in Hornchurch and Upminster, this will now cost you a minimum of £1.50.


The Tory-run council have removed the free parking as they believe this will earn them some money.


This is extremely short-sighted, any ‘free car park’ (Sainsbury’s or Lidl in Hornchurch as an example) will quickly become very congested. This will possibly lead to these stores charging to park (and possibly reclaim your parking if you shop in-store)


Meanwhile, the local shops will likely lose customers as they seek out alternative places to shop where they can park for free.

We hope that this is not going to cause some of the smaller businesses to fail, they pay business rates to the council, so the council are potentially cutting their throat to spite the stomach.


The parking after 6:30 PM at night which was free until 7:00 AM has also been taken away with a blanket £1.50 charge (this also applies to Elm Park) and the FREE Sunday Parking has also been removed.


Please be aware that anyone parking overnight will need to remove their vehicle by 7:00 AM the next morning or possibly face receiving a ticket.


Parking on a single yellow line (in most cases – please check the signposts) only covers until 6:30 PM, you can of course park on these until they come back in force the following day.

We can see that people will take advantage of this and the roads will become congested whereas the car parks will be relatively empty.


Of course, as people search for free parking, it is very possible that roads anywhere near a shopping centre where there are currently no parking restrictions will become parking hotspots, leading to the residents to request parking restrictions so they can park there.


The Tory’s are working on pushing out CPZ’s (Controlled Parking Zones) across all of Hornchurch.  The current plan is to implement these within 1KM of any train station and the centre of Hornchurch.


Will this make things better? I doubt it, but it will earn the council a very good return as residents will be forced to pay to park somewhere near their home, and if they have a 2nd or third vehicle the cost increases hugely. (Currently, first car £30, second car £65 and any further vehicles £80 each year – this number has only ever gone up and the council have said – we are one of the cheapest!!!!)

Next, we need to think about visitors, they will not have parking permits, so the resident will need to pay for temporary parking tickets. These currently cost £13 for a pack or ten 4hour permits.


Then we need to consider anywhere with a Football pitch, a Tennis or Cricket team, or even a park where people walk their dogs or take their children.

If they do not live in the CPZ area (there will be several areas), how will they park anywhere near the field?  Some parks have free parking available – how long do you think that will last before the council start to charge for these?

Author: Paul Middleton

Paul is a Ward Councillor for St. Andrews & Hornchurch Resident's Association Executive member.

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